More details on Tohti case revealed

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-9-26 0:38:04

Records say Uyghur teacher preaches violence, separatism

The Uyghur teacher convicted of separatism urged his students to fight the Chinese government through any means available and manipulated opinion polls to push for the "independence of Xinjiang," according to detailed court records obtained by the Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday.

Xinhua obtained the records one day after the Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi sentenced Ilham Tohti, a former professor at the Beijing-based Minzu University of China, to life imprisonment.

According to the records, more than 210 pieces of evidence had been presented to the court including witness testimony, the defendant confession and video footage.

Video footage provided by prosecutors showed Tohti calling on his students to fight the Chinese government, which he called "a devil to the Uyghur people."

The records showed that witnesses said Tohti had been the moving force behind over 100 articles advocating separatism on the website "Uyghur Online."

He organized a group that wrote, edited, translated and reprinted articles seeking Xinjiang's separation from China.

"All of the important and sensitive articles were polished and approved by him," witnesses said.

According to the records, Tohti pushed others to write and reprint articles that distorted facts after a clash between terrorists and authorities in Kashgar's Bachu county, in which 15 community workers and police officers and six terrorists were killed in April 2013.

"I admire these people who fight violence with violence. They are heroes," he said in the classroom after the attack, according to video footage presented to the court.

On October 28 of last year, a jeep crashed near Tiananmen Square in downtown Beijing, causing five deaths and 40 injuries. After it happened, Tohti published articles on WeChat, a mobile phone messaging platform, claiming that it was not a terror attack, the records said.

Tohti was charged with separatism in late July. A public trial was held last week. During the trial, Tohti denied all charges against him, arguing that he did not intend to split the country, and that the articles he published represent an academic point of view.

The court records also showed that Tohti manipulated opinion polls, published false data on Uyghur Online, and re-quoted the falsified information in his classes to argue for "Xinjiang's independence."

According to the records, witnesses said Tohti fabricated the statistics which he claimed to have gathered from his questionnaire.

Video footage presented to the court showed Tohti telling his students that 13 percent of the people polled supported "Xinjiang's independence," while 87 percent were in favor of autonomy.

In the court, he repeatedly said he supported increased autonomy for Xinjiang, and expressed his hope that the region could remain part of a larger Chinese federation.

Tohti and his lawyers did not provide any evidence in court that could prove he had conducted the opinion polls.

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